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Maine: Transportation and Energy Reforms Would Bring $4 Billion in Economic Benefits and 13,500 New Jobs

New Analysis Released to Incoming Maine Administration

ROCKPORT, ME – Today, Acadia Center released new analysis showing the impact a shift toward better transportation infrastructure and cleaner energy would have in improving Connecticut’s economic and environmental future. Acadia Center’s “Memo to the Next Governor of Maine” recommends concrete steps that will deliver significant economic, consumer and public health benefits to the state. The analysis shows that modernizing the state’s transportation system alone could produce over $3.8 billion in new economic benefits, add 8,700 new jobs, and create $2.3 billion in public health and other benefits. All told, Acadia Center’s analysis indicates that the state could generate $6.5 billion dollars in consumer and economic benefits and create about 13,500 new jobs in the process.

“Maine must update and improve its energy and transportation systems, and doing so presents a significant opportunity to strengthen its economic future,” said Daniel Sosland, president of Acadia Center. “This analysis recommends five transportation and energy reforms that will have the most direct impact on Maine’s economy while enhancing quality of life for Maine people and communities. The time is now for Maine’s leaders to act to bring these benefits to residents.”

The memo calls on the new administration to undertake five reforms to achieve these goals and benefits:

1. Modernize transportation infrastructure to improve safety, access, and convenience;
2. Transition power generation to cheaper, cleaner, and more resilient local sources;
3. Improve energy performance in buildings to reduce costly energy use and emissions;
4. Reform energy grid rules to reduce high energy costs and speed energy innovation;
5. Give communities and consumers more control over their energy choices.

“Maine has many immediate needs that must be met to put the state on a path to success in the years to come,” said Kathleen Meil, Acadia Center’s policy advocate in Maine. “This new analysis shows how smart it is to tackle these challenges through the lens of a broader strategy to revitalize key infrastructure and avoid climate pollution.”

“Governor-elect Mills has indicated that advancing the clean energy future and enhancing community resilience are top priorities, and Acadia Center’s recommended reforms lay out a roadmap that promises concrete benefits for all Mainers. These key steps will fix roads and bridges, move the state away from its dependence on oil and gas, and increase accessibility of jobs and services-all while reducing emissions, increasing energy independence, and boosting local industries,” said Meil.

The full memo is available here.


Media Contacts:

Kathleen Meil, Policy Advocate
kmeil@acadiacenter.org, 207-236-6470 ext. 304

Krysia Wazny McClain, Communications Director
kwazny@acadiacenter.org, 617.742.0054 ext. 107

Acadia Center: Connecticut economy would get big boost from clean energy efforts

Acadia Center’s analysis, which officials with the organization called “Memo To The Next Governor of Connecticut,” was released Monday. Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center’s president, said the analysis focuses on five transportation and energy reforms “that will have the most direct impact on Connecticut’s economy while also enhancing quality of life for its people and communities.”

“The recommended reforms are achievable, the benefits are concrete, and the time is now to build a stronger Connecticut,” Sosland said in a written statement. “Making Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure and its energy system work better for all state residents and businesses is smart economic strategy.”

Read the full article from the New Haven Register here.

Connecticut: Transportation and Energy Reforms Could Bring $11 Billion in Economic Benefits and 33,000 New Jobs

New Analysis Released to Incoming Connecticut Administration

HARTFORD, CT – Today, Acadia Center released new analysis showing the impact a shift toward better transportation infrastructure and cleaner energy would have in improving Connecticut’s economic and environmental future. Acadia Center’s “Memo to the Next Governor of Connecticut” recommends concrete steps that will deliver significant economic, consumer and public health benefits to the state. The analysis shows that modernizing the state’s transportation system alone could produce over $6.9 billion in new economic benefits, add 14,900 new jobs, and create $3.7 billion in public health and other benefits. All told, Acadia Center’s analysis indicates that the state could add about $11 billion in new economic benefits and create about 33,000 new jobs through five transportation and energy reforms.

“Making Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure and its energy system work better for all state residents and businesses is smart economic strategy,” said Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center’s President. “This analysis focuses on five transportation and energy reforms that will have the most direct impact on Connecticut’s economy while also enhancing quality of life for its people and communities. The recommended reforms are achievable, the benefits are concrete, and the time is now to build a stronger Connecticut.”

The memo calls on the new administration to undertake five reforms to achieve these goals and benefits:

1. Modernize transportation infrastructure to improve safety, access, and convenience;
2. Transition power generation to cheaper, cleaner, and more resilient local sources;
3. Improve energy performance in buildings to reduce costly energy use and emissions;
4. Reform energy grid rules to reduce high energy costs and speed energy innovation;
5. Give communities and consumers more control over their energy choices.

“This new analysis underscores how important it is to remake Connecticut’s transportation and energy systems as a core part of the state’s new economic strategy,” said Amy McLean Salls, Acadia Center’s Connecticut Director. “Newly-unleashed investments and innovation will drive economic progress, improve quality of life, and extend benefits to communities and residents who have historically been overlooked.”

“The five recommended reforms complement Governor-Elect Lamont’s plans to create new economic growth and jobs in the state. These reforms will help make that vision of a more prosperous and livable Connecticut a reality,” said McLean Salls.

The full memo is available here.


Media Contacts:

Amy McLean Salls, Connecticut Director & Senior Policy Advocate
amcleansalls@acadiacenter.org, 860-246-7121 ext. 204

Krysia Wazny McClain, Communications Director
kwazny@acadiacenter.org, 617.742.0054 ext. 107

States Bring Economic Clout to Fighting Climate Change

Nine states, including New York, participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a mandatory, market-based program to reduce carbon emissions. According to a new analysis by the Acadia Center, since 2005 the RGGI states have reduced carbon emissions by 40 percent while their economies have grown by 25 percent, outpacing the rest of the country.

Acadia analyst Jordan Stutt said these states bring real economic clout to the effort to combat climate change.

“Together, they represent the sixth-largest economy in the entire world,” he said. “This is no longer about symbolic statements; it’s about real action to reduce harmful emissions.”

Following the president’s announcement, the RGGI states reasserted their commitment to upholding the Paris agreement.

The report found that participation in RGGI has done more than reduce carbon emissions. Stutt said reductions of such other pollutants as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides have led to fewer asthma and heart attacks, premature deaths, and missed school and work days – all of which saves money.

“When we quantify all of those avoided impacts,” he said, “we see that RGGI has delivered $5.7 billion in avoided health costs for the region.”

Stutt added that electricity prices have also declined in RGGI states while going up in other states.

Six of the RGGI states have joined with seven other states and territories to form the U.S. Climate Alliance. While the alliance doesn’t have a coordinated plan to reduce emissions, Stutt noted that some of the states already have policies in effect while others have legislation in progress.

“There are a number of different vehicles being discussed to address this issue,” he said, “and it’s encouraging to see that all these states are going to be working together to achieve that goal.”

Combined, the U.S. Climate Alliance states, which include California, represent the third-largest economy in the world, behind the United States and China.

The analysis is online at acadiacenter.org.

Read and listen to the full story from Public News Service here.

RGGI States Can Save Billions on Healthcare with Stronger Program

BOSTON—New research from Acadia Center shows that a strengthened RGGI program would drive $2.1 billion in avoided health impacts. A stronger cap on carbon pollution would drive reductions in regional emissions of harmful pollutants like SO2, NOX, and particulate matter, which would lead to fewer emergency room visits, missed work and school days and premature deaths. The burdens of these co-pollutants fall disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color, meaning that a stronger RGGI program will provide the greatest benefit to underserved populations.

“RGGI has created jobs, economic growth and climate benefits while improving the region’s air quality,” said Daniel Sosland, President of Acadia Center. “The RGGI states should build on that success by establishing ambitious cap levels through 2030 which would deliver substantial health benefits for the participating states.”

The new analysis shows that a 5 percent annual decline in the RGGI cap from 2020 to 2030—the most ambitious cap the RGGI states have modeled—would result in over $2 billion in avoided health savings, more than double the benefit of a continued annual cap decline of 2.5 percent.

“A stronger emissions cap over the next decade can help keep Springfield’s kids out of emergency rooms and in their classrooms,” said Sarita Hudson, Manager at Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition. “Reducing pollution would make a huge difference in the everyday wellbeing and lives of this community.”

Environmental groups, health professionals and low-income advocates have called on the RGGI states to seize the opportunity provided by the program to look out for the communities burdened by pollution in a way that dramatically improves local air quality and generates revenue for the entire state. “The RGGI states can help low-income communities breathe easy, and strengthen them by re-investing RGGI proceeds into projects that spur local economic activity and create jobs,” said Jesse Lederman, Director of Public Health and Environmental Initiatives at Arise for Social Justice.

“Good state and regional policy needs to use this kind of smart thinking, to avoid inadvertent cost shifting from energy to health care. We support this forward-thinking effort” said Paul Lipke, Senior Advisor for Energy and Buildings, Health Care Without Harm.

Information on the 2016 RGGI Program Review, including meeting materials and stakeholder comments, can be found at: http://www.rggi.org/design/2016-program-review

Additional information on RGGI’s performance to date and needed reforms through the 2016 Program Review are described in Acadia Center’s 2016 RGGI Status Report:


RGGI Overview:

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nine northeastern and mid-Atlantic states reduce CO2 emissions by setting an overall limit on emissions “allowances,” which permit power plants to dispose of CO2 in the atmosphere. States sell allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in consumer benefit programs: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other programs.

The official RGGI web site is: www.rggi.org


Media Contact:
Jordan Stutt, Policy Analyst, Clean Energy Initiative
617-742-0054 x105, jstutt@acadiacenter.org